The Joy Trip Project is pleased to present a free screening of the film High Ground by Michael Brown at the Marquee Theater in Union South on the UW Madison Campus on March 5th at 7PM. This inspiring feature follows the true story of 11 wounded Iraq and Afghan war veterans who overcome their injuries to climb a 20,000-foot mountain peak in the Himalaya. Recovering from the catastrophic effects of blindness, amputation and post-trauma stress these fallen heroes rise up to reclaim their lives and overcome a great physical challenge. Admission is free but seating is limited. Donations collected online go to support the local CXC adaptive cross-country ski program that provides equipment and instruction in the Madison area for people with disabilities. Visit https://www.wepay.com/donations/donation-to-support-central-cross-country-ski-association to make a contribution.
As a journalist it’s not often that I have the opportunity to get directly involved in planning events in my community. Typically I report on the news of the day and seldom do I find myself at the heart of the story. But this time I’m actually doing what I can to make this event happen in support of a worthy cause at the heart of the Joy Trip Project mission: making adventure accessible to everyone.
The film High Ground is one of those wonderful movie projects that not only tells a great story but provides a vehicle to transport real people into unique circumstances they would otherwise never enjoy. When Michael Brown assembled his team of wounded veterans he gave them the opportunity to leave behind the limitations of their experience in war and aspire to something bigger, a personal journey of epic proportions. As citizens we owe it to our veterans to help them recover from their injuries however possible. This mountain adventure provides the life-affirming benefits of risk and challenge without the trauma of combat while still allowing these soldiers to work together as a team toward a common objective. Despite their injuries each can explore the boundaries of their abilities and test the full extent of their character.
As the story unfolds on-screen the audience can share in the experience and hopefully become inspired. It’s my hope that those who attend will leave the theater with a better appreciation not only for the sacrifices our veterans have made to assure our liberty but also how lucky they are to face their own challenges in the future with two good legs, the power of sight or sleep troubled by horrific dreams. I am personally inspired by the story of High Ground as I undergo major surgery to restore my ability to walk.
The Madison presentation of this wonderful film occurs between two operations to replace both my left and right hips. Though I have been assured a positive outcome the pain and hours of rehabilitative therapy can be very discouraging. But when I think about my friend Chad Jukes who appears in High Ground I can’t help but feel grateful and very optimistic. After losing his leg to an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Iraq Jukes not only learned to walk again but now he climbs high mountains with style and verve. Following his example I am encouraged to strive toward a full recovery and now look forward to the day I will climb again as well.
Since its inception the Joy Trip Project has aspired to encourage people everywhere to seek out happiness and adventure in their daily lives. Working to highlight the efforts of others who share this goals is my primary mission. This screening of the film High Ground aims to create a live event in the real world where people in my community can gather and celebrate the active lifestyle. Please come and enjoy this special event! Sign in on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/490263407710328/